NEW ORLEANS -- Sarah Palin strode back onto her party's national political stage Friday, mocking President Barack Obama and telling Republicans, "Don't retreat, reload."

The 2008 vice presidential candidate said the slogan, which drew a standing ovation, is a plea for political action.

"That is not a call for violence," she said at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, responding to those who have questioned such language at a time when lawmakers have faced threats over their support of the health care overhaul.

Palin criticized the Obama administration's handling of national security, government spending and energy policy. She said the president's recently announced plan for added offshore oil and gas drilling is insufficient to address energy needs.

"Let's drill, baby, drill, not stall, baby, stall," she said, reprising one of her lines from the 2008 campaign.

Her campaign-style speech to a standing-room-only audience was at an event unofficially considered the first stop for Republicans seeking the right to take on Obama in 2012.

As she attacked the president, Palin stopped short of declaring ambitions for a presidential bid, as her audience chanted "Sarah."

She said Obama's campaign slogan of "Yes We Can" had become: "Yes, we can spread the wealth around. Yes we can spend money that we do not have, on programs that we don't need."

On foreign policy, Palin said the "Obama doctrine" has become one of "coddling enemies and alienating allies."

Earlier in the day, Obama dismissed Palin in an interview broadcast on ABC's "Good Morning America" when he was asked about her criticism of his recent decision to resist the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear nations that abide by a nonproliferation treaty.

"Last I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues," Obama said. "If the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are comfortable with it, I'm probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin."

Palin responded by suggesting that Obama doesn't have any more experience with such matters than she does.

"Now, the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer, and as a part-time senator, and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran," she said.